Controversial Wigan road barrier could be lifted

A controversial traffic barrier that restricts access to a Wigan business park could be removed as part of long-awaited council plans.

Friday, 13th July 2018, 11:35 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:14 pm
The controversial barrier which could be lifted

The town hall says opening up Walthew House Lane to provide an extra access point to the Martland Mill Business Park will improve road safety for Kitt Green residents.

However, the plan – which would see the council taking on responsibility for a section of unadopted road – has proved contentious with concerns it could add to congestion in nearby Orrell.

A consultation with residents and businesses – including bosses at the Heinz factory based in Kitt Green – was held in 2016.

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Safety concerns with the barrier were first raised by residents of Buckland Drive and Wood Green Gardens after HGV drivers were using their streets to reverse having ignored signs informing them there was no access to the business park from Walthew House Lane.

“Since there is no turning head at this location a driver may be encouraged to reverse their vehicle on the road and use adjacent residential roads as a makeshift turning area,” a report by director of environment Paul Barton reads.

Supporting letters – of which the council received 61 – said opening up the link would cut down on the number of HGVs travelling through Kitt Green and Marsh Green, areas with several schools.

The council also received 124 objections which raised concerns about the impact on the junction of the A577 in nearby Orrell, close to the M58/M6 interchange, and whether the unadopted section of roadway was wide enough to carry two-way HGV traffic.

Mr Barton’s report says officers are satisfied the carriageway is wide enough and Transport for Greater Manchester analysis of the A577 junction shows although there could be an increase in waiting times at the 5pm to 6pm peak period, the impact would be ‘negligible’.

He adds that opening the link could lead to a bus service to the business park, provide another route to the DW Stadium and there could be potential for a cycle lane.

“If the proposal is passed then it may be possible to consider using an acoustic surface dressing on the link road to help reduce noise pollution from HGV traffic,” the report states.

“Based on the evidence collected and the potential to improve highway safety for all road users in the Kitt Green area it is recommended that the proposal is progressed.”

The regulation committee will meet on Friday.